Using spreadsheets and hard drive-based business budgeting software can keep a large volume of business data organized can be useful, but the advantages of a cloud-based solution are difficult to deny. From maintaining a single streamlined edition of the master file to permitting unlimited users to alter the file and even limiting most individuals from making carte blanche edits, the benefits of using cloud-based budgeting software far outweigh the potential challenges of making the change to this software.
The requirements for hosting a traditional type of budgeting software based on the hard drive can lead to logistical challenges with maintaining the necessary copies, as well as having a “go to” person for ensuring that there is a main copy outstanding. When your business uses cloud-based budgeting software, the are immediate savings involved in winding down legacy systems and outsource other online necessities that are not core to the company’s operation. Having a predictable regular sum that must be apportioned to maintain cloud-based budgeting software allows more capital flexibility for other aspects of the business, which can further facilitate investment into growth or other methods of building shareholder value.
Built-in Infrastructure Control
The lack of need for maintaining on-site infrastructure to host budgeting software when it is based in the cloud reduces gross costs, including the need for as large an IT department and a simultaneous lessening of necessary equipment dedicated to the purpose. By outsourcing this aspect of the business, your company can focus more internal resources, IT and otherwise, on core operational requirements. This is a savings of equally valuable personnel time as well as financial resources.
Controlling access to vital company data, particularly when this data could be used against you by outsiders and competitors, is critical. In many cases, unauthorized copying or alteration of your company’s budgeting software can have catastrophic consequences. When any hidden formula can be altered, a single keystroke can dramatically change a multitude of different figures and alter the reports accordingly. One who wants to interfere with your business’s alteration maliciously could easily do so in this way, and it would require considerable time and effort to identify and rectify the problem.
It is also important to remember that mistakes happen amid even the most innocent of circumstances. When an individual outside of the C suite is given unrestricted access to company-wide data, they may mistakenly alter information that could result in massive errors in both internal and external reporting. Internal errors can lead to poorly-informed decisions, and errors that reach the outside, particularly regulators and taxing authorities, can result in costly and embarrassing audits.
Access control such as limiting access to all but the C suite and using password protection is a powerful way to protect the company from malicious editing and errors on the part of employees.
Data must be uniform if the relevant decision makers are to act upon it effectively. In cases where data may be dependent upon the data of other department heads, keeping everything uniform can become a full-time job within a dozen or so employees. For larger companies, where data may be coming from a hundred or more subsections, failure to keep it all uniform can become a mess. Cloud-based business budgeting software allows for everyone to alter only their aspect of the data, as well as tracking who made what additions, subtractions or edits to the overall data stream. Often, the only way to maintain a uniform file is to only have one, backed up on the cloud.
File Integrity Preservation
File integrity is partially a function of infrastructure control, and partially a function of limiting access. With both aspects under tight control and full documentation of all users who make any changes, localized issues such as power fluctuations and errors are minimized. Cloud-based budgeting software maintains the file’s integrity so you can focus on the data instead of the file version.
Compared with cloud computing, spreadsheet budgeting is considerably slower to update and more difficult to verify. Consider that if any variable is off from a data perspective or in terms of formulas, the entire projection can be disastrously incorrect. When you can trust that the data is accurate and the formulas are delivering effective projections based on that data, you can move far more quickly on the information you receive instead of having to triple-check everything. Particularly for larger organizations, this is the difference between being cripplingly slow and reasonably quick to act.
What Are the Advantages of Cloud-Based Business Budgeting Software
Ease of Report Generation
Reports are crucial for stakeholders in government, on the supply side and internally for employees, not to mention investors in your company. When your data is verifiable and easy to see, you can quickly produce reports that accomplish what they need to swiftly.
Seriousness about data consistency means cloud-based budgeting.
Businesses of every description rely on the Budget Maestro™ family of software solutions by Centage Corporation to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their business budgeting and planning, financial forecasting, financial consolidation and reporting processes. For more information, take a tour of Budget Maestro, contact Centage, or call 800-366-5111 now.